The Air Force flies a great many aircraft to gain information, photo information and other data on other forces and military groups. Images are taken, and have to be sent back digitally or brought back physically on film to be identified, and processed.
The job of the Air Force Imagery Apprentice is to deal with these types of images. You will be involved in analyzing, identifying, and reporting on objects and targets that are to be found in the images. You will be tasked to assist aircrews and reconnaissance crew to recover, plan and interpret different images from a variety of aircraft. You can get images from aircraft such as C-130’s, F-14’s, F-18’s, U-2, SR-71’s and various unmanned aerial vehicles. You will be trained on different optical images as well as digital, infrared, radar, and other spectrum images. The advent of digitalization is currently revolutionizing the whole field, so the training you may receive today may have to be updated several times during your career.
You may be involved in military intelligence and databases at the local, theater, and even national levels. Much of the images now being taken are digital and displayed on computers, so any knowledge or aptitude in computers is helpful. Much of the new processes in digital images are being perfected and stored in digital format, and the ability for accurate and trained interpretation is a must. The use of computers is making the analysis of digital images easier and swifter, but the basics in theory and knowledge still must be trained in the human observer.
Images must be studied for Battle Damage Assessment (BDA) lines of communication (LOC) and other features such as order of battle, helicopter landing zones, target identification, image interpretation reports, and coastal beach landing areas. These issues and a number of others are the ones being taught to the Air Force Image Analysis Apprentice.
After Boot camp you will attend Air Force Technical School and be instructed on state of the art equipment, by instructors in the classroom in formal training. You will also be taught in the field in training using current real time imaging. The field of image analysis is a challenging field, and one for a person who is skilled with computers. An aptitude in math and science, as well as a willingness to work with detailed information is required. If you are looking for a challenge, and enjoy working with data and numbers, you may be just the person for this job field.